Two hundred thousand. Almost the population of Richmond, Virginia. That’s the number of Russian soldiers that the UK Ministry of Defense estimates have been killed or wounded since the start of the “glorious special operation” supposedly intended to de-nazify Ukraine. Or maybe it was to protect the rights of Russian-speaking Ukrainians. But wait, just a couple of short weeks ago; the Russian leader claims it was the west that really started the war.

Days before the first anniversary of the unprovoked invasion, President Putin told the world, “We aren’t fighting the Ukrainian people. Ukraine has become hostage of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters, which have effectively occupied the country.” 

Hear that? That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. The unmitigated audacity of a man whose army is underfed and forced to cobble together spare parts from naval vessels to keep his tanks barely rolling on life support.

A quagmire indeed.